Tag:Gustavo Molina
Posted on: March 25, 2011 5:29 pm

Yankees roundup: Garcia, Molina, more

By Matt Snyder

Some short Yankees notes as we watch spring wind down (Hat-tip to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com for some info):

- There hasn't been a final decision yet on the fifth rotation spot, but it's very likely that both Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon make the team. The best bet is Garcia lands the starting job with Colon going to the bullpen as a long reliever.

- With Francisco Cervelli injured and Jesus Montero having a dreadful defensive spring, Gustavo Molina (pictured right) is the odds-on favorite to win the backup catcher job out of camp. Remember, Jorge Posada is slated as the designated hitter going into the season and Russell Martin is now the starter behind the dish. Montero and Austin Romine will be sent to the minors to begin the season.

- Kevin Millwood will initially head to Triple-A, but he's out on May 1 if not on the big-league roster. He's basically insurance against Ivan Nova (the No. 4 starter) or Garcia not working out. And, of course, there could be injuries.

- It's still a possibility that Curtis Granderson will open the season on the disabled list, but no certainty. If he does, expect newly-acquired Chris Dickerson to be in the center-field mix. The Yankees could shift Brett Gardner to center and use Andruw Jones in left, or plug Dickerson into center.

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Posted on: March 12, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 5:24 pm

Montero stumbles, may not win catcher gig

MonteroBy Evan Brunell

Jesus Montero was receiving rave reviews for his defense in spring training as the CBSSports.com No. 4 prospect appears poised to capitalize on an opportunity to become the club's backup catcher. While Montero's future is as a slugging first baseman or DH, for now he's being asked to stick behind the dish especially with incumbent backup catcher Francisco Cervelli sidelined until May.

However, ESPN's Keith Law does not agree with the word out of Yankees camp that Montero's defense has improved, and that defense was on display Friday. Montero coughed up two wild pitches by Romulo Sanchez in the sixth, and skipper Joe Girardi indicated that at least one of the pitches -- a curveball -- was not due to being crossed up as the New York Post reports.

Montero (pictured) also dropped balls, showed limited mobility in blocking balls in the dirt and did not throw to second base well.

That's rather damning of the 21-year-old's defense and may crystallize that the club can't carry Montero as the backup. Girardi wants the backup to be defense-oriented, which Montero certainly isn't.

"[Montero] is a work in progress and there has been a lot thrown at him quickly," Girardi said. "To me, the defense has to come first. That’s the first thing I told him. Not hitting in spring training, yeah, you want to see everyone swinging great when they leave spring training, but I don’t get too caught up with his bat right now." Montero is currently hitting .136 in 22 at-bats with no extra-base hits.

Assuming Montero is ticketed for Triple-A, Austin Romine may leapfrog Montero to the majors by virtue of his defense. Romine's defense behind the plate isn't otherworldly either, but is at least good enough that he is considered to have a real shot at sticking behind the plate. But do the Yankees want to aggressively promote Romine all the way to the majors after hitting .268/.324/.402 in 497 plate appearances in Double-A last season? It seems unnecessary.

The club also has journeyman Gustavo Molina in camp, who would function just fine as a temporary backup, but it appears he is not being given significant consideration for the temporary job although that may change after Montero's showing.

One other option could be Chad Moeller, who left Rockies camp after it became clear to him he would not win the Rockies' backup job. Moeller is familiar to Yankees personnel after playing in nine games for New York last season. He also had a 41-game stint with the club back in 2008 before heading to Baltimore for 2009. Given Moeller's two stints with the Yankees, the club clearly feels comfortable with him and may opt to bring him in with the idea of giving him the job until Cervelli returns.

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Posted on: March 4, 2011 3:46 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 3:51 pm

Cervelli injured; Could Montero step in?

MonteroBy Evan Brunell

The catching situation in New York just took an interesting turn as Francisco Cervelli suffered a broken foot that will knock him out for six to eight weeks, as the New York Times reports.

Cervelli, who served as backup catcher last season but played enough to garner 317 plate appearances, was slated to back up Russell Martin but now the door may have opened for Jesus Montero (pictured).

Montero, a hot-hitting prospect who ranked No. 4 on CBSSports.com's Top 100 Prospects, is now the immediate favorite to open the year backing up Martin. While the gig would likely only last a month, the 21-year-old may be better off playing full-time down on the farm. That said, New York might want to use this chance to evaluate his oft-maligned defense at the major league level, the better to determine Montero's future moving forward.

One thing's certain: the team won't be considering Jorge Posada as a backup. The longtime Yankees catcher is moving to the DH spot permanently. That leaves Montero fighting with journeyman backup catcher Gustavo Molina. The 29-year-old has seen 45 total PA in the majors split between the White Sox, Orioles, Mets and Red Sox but has yet to lock down a permanent backup gig. Molina appears to be that catcher that is good enough to play in Triple-A as insurance for most teams, but never good enough to lock down a full-time job. Hey, there are worse things for a person to be.

It's in this role that Molina may actually stand the best chance of beating Montero out. Molina is a capable stopgap for a month while Cervelli heals and is unlikely to be claimed on waivers once it is time for him to exit stage left. That would allow Montero to return to Triple-A and avoid a potential liability behind the plate if his defense is as bad as believed.

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Posted on: August 19, 2010 5:11 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 5:21 pm

Saltalamacchia becomes 19th BoSox player on DL

Jarrod Saltalamacchia At some point, one just has to throw in the towel and concede that the gods just aren't interested in helping out.

The Red Sox recorded their 19th player on the disabled list as backup catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was placed on the DL with a leg infection. Salty complained of a sore leg on Thursday and was sent to the hospital where an infection was found, according to the Boston Globe .

Rest easy -- it's not the MRSA virus , but it's not clear what it is. Tests are currently taking place to see if it is a staph infection. Saltalamacchia, acquired from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline, is currently hooked up to an IV for antibiotics. Even though Salty could be out just a few days, the Red Sox couldn't afford to wait around for a backup catcher, so tapped Dusty Brown to replace Saltalamacchia.

This is Brown's second stint with the Red Sox, having previously paired up with Kevin Cash to form one of the worst offensive catching tandems while Victor Martinez was on the DL. (Gustavo Molina also paired up with Cash for their own terrible combo.) Brown hit  .182 in 11 plate appearances as a 28-year-old after replacing . Down in Triple-A, Brown has split time with Mark Wagner to hit .219/.309/.391 in 247 plate appearances.

Wagner, for his part, is at .202/.264/.340 in 107 PA and was on the disabled list, doing a rehab start for Class A Lowell. He has now rejoined the PawSox and will pair with Molina.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: June 28, 2010 9:49 pm

Report: Boston's Martinez to DL

The Boston Globe reports that Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez, even without needing surgery for a break in his thumb, will be placed on the disabled list on Tuesday.

The Red Sox don't have great in-house options available at catcher (their top two Triple-A catchers are both on the disabled list), and apparently will bring up Gustavo Molina. Molina is not much of a hitter, but the schedule (including the All-Star break) works in Boston's favor and Jason Varitek should be able to start the majority of the games Martinez misses.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com